Npower Retrospective Bill for nearly 2 years ago

in Energy
12 replies 2.5K views
Hi all,

Just after a bit of advice and apologies in advance for another Npower thread. This is not about switching, it's about myself closing an Npower account and paying a final bill all of which took place nearly 2 years ago.

I moved to Milton Keynes into a one bedroom flat on Economy 7 electricity back in mid December 2012. Npower contacted me pretty quickly and asked for meter readings and personal details. All done and dusted within good time and the form sent back to them. I got my first bill from them during Feb 2013. Which I paid and I believe the billing was then quarterly.

I left the property in May 2013 and moved down south. On the day I handed the keys back to the agent, I called Npower and gave them my final meter readings. They asked for my new address for the final bill and (some would say stupidly) I gave them my new address. During July 2013 I got my final bill which was approx. £350. I paid up and that was that...or so I thought.

Fast forward to mid-March 2015 and I got an email from Npower telling me my new bill was ready? I put this down to a phishing tactic so junked the email. Then on 11th Arpil 2015 I received a reminder letter from Npower demanding £422.09 for electricity supplied to my old address in Milton Keynes? The letter was actually dated 1st April, not sure if that was meant to be a joke?

I called Npower on 11th April 2015 and was on the phone to them for just over an hour which was a mixture of being put on hold quite a few times. The chap on the phone told me I needed to 'pay now' and didn't seem too concerned that I had left this property nearly 2 years previous. His tune changed when I mentioned that it was my understanding that utility firms were not supposed to apply retrospective billing to folk after a 12 month period. He then spoke to the 'billings team'. Here's what he came back with:

- The meter readings for the property had been transposed incorrectly either by the person I had given the final meter readings to or an Npower meter reader. He said there was no suggestion I had provided incorrect meter readings.

- The final bill should have been closer to £1400 not the lower figure I had paid. But out of 'good will' they had written off £700 which left just £422 outstanding + what I had originally paid. I asked him how on earth I could have ran up such a bill in an Economy 7 property and when I was only there for 5 months at the most? He had no answer. I also told him that my own B.Gas dual fuel plan works out to around 800 quid a year.

- My final bill payment had in fact been rejected on the day I paid up back in July 2013? Apparently that was the day this big investigation started. So the money I paid was in fact sitting in my Npower account as a credit? But at the time, no-one told me that???

- Apparently this was all the fruits of an 18 month investigation and "you need to pay now" to which I replied with "I'm not paying" and then asked "who the hell do you people think you are just demanding money from me and without an explanation as to why it's taken 18 months to do so?"...no answer to that one.

After some soapbox moments from me, he then scuttled back to the 'Billing Team'. He advised me that they would be launching another investigation and would let me know the results within a few months. He then told me to ignore any more reminder letters over the next few weeks and that my account has been marked as suspended meaning I would get no more demands by post, email or phone. Since then I've had nothing but demands from Npower by email, letter and phone. My neighbour below me alerted me to the fact that she thought someone was urgently trying to get in touch with me last Wednesday because "your landline has been ringing non-stop all day". When I got into the flat I saw 28 missed calls on my landline phone, all from Npower. I then blocked the number.

Yesterday, I received a letter from Telemessage threatening DCAs and County Court action, reference number is my old Npower account number. Also, today I turned on my old mobile phone (which I'm waiting for the contract to expire next month) and noticed 7 voicemails from last week. All from Robinson Way. I'm not in debt troubles with anything else, so unless they have a wrong number I can only assume Npower have set them on to me? Yes, Npower do have my old mobile number but not my new number. They got my landline number from when I called them because I stupidly forgot to use 141 before dialling them.

I'm not sure how to proceed from here. So any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for your time.
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  • naedangernaedanger Forumite
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    Hi all,

    Just after a bit of advice and apologies in advance for another Npower thread. This is not about switching, it's about myself closing an Npower account and paying a final bill all of which took place nearly 2 years ago.

    I moved to Milton Keynes into a one bedroom flat on Economy 7 electricity back in mid December 2012. Npower contacted me pretty quickly and asked for meter readings and personal details. All done and dusted within good time and the form sent back to them. I got my first bill from them during Feb 2013. Which I paid and I believe the billing was then quarterly.

    I left the property in May 2013 and moved down south. On the day I handed the keys back to the agent, I called Npower and gave them my final meter readings. They asked for my new address for the final bill and (some would say stupidly) I gave them my new address. During July 2013 I got my final bill which was approx. £350. I paid up and that was that...or so I thought.

    Fast forward to mid-March 2015 and I got an email from Npower telling me my new bill was ready? I put this down to a phishing tactic so junked the email. Then on 11th Arpil 2015 I received a reminder letter from Npower demanding £422.09 for electricity supplied to my old address in Milton Keynes? The letter was actually dated 1st April, not sure if that was meant to be a joke?

    I called Npower on 11th April 2015 and was on the phone to them for just over an hour which was a mixture of being put on hold quite a few times. The chap on the phone told me I needed to 'pay now' and didn't seem too concerned that I had left this property nearly 2 years previous. His tune changed when I mentioned that it was my understanding that utility firms were not supposed to apply retrospective billing to folk after a 12 month period. He then spoke to the 'billings team'. Here's what he came back with:

    - The meter readings for the property had been transposed incorrectly either by the person I had given the final meter readings to or an Npower meter reader. He said there was no suggestion I had provided incorrect meter readings.

    - The final bill should have been closer to £1400 not the lower figure I had paid. But out of 'good will' they had written off £700 which left just £422 outstanding + what I had originally paid. I asked him how on earth I could have ran up such a bill in an Economy 7 property and when I was only there for 5 months at the most? He had no answer. I also told him that my own B.Gas dual fuel plan works out to around 800 quid a year.

    - My final bill payment had in fact been rejected on the day I paid up back in July 2013? Apparently that was the day this big investigation started. So the money I paid was in fact sitting in my Npower account as a credit? But at the time, no-one told me that???

    - Apparently this was all the fruits of an 18 month investigation and "you need to pay now" to which I replied with "I'm not paying" and then asked "who the hell do you people think you are just demanding money from me and without an explanation as to why it's taken 18 months to do so?"...no answer to that one.

    After some soapbox moments from me, he then scuttled back to the 'Billing Team'. He advised me that they would be launching another investigation and would let me know the results within a few months. He then told me to ignore any more reminder letters over the next few weeks and that my account has been marked as suspended meaning I would get no more demands by post, email or phone. Since then I've had nothing but demands from Npower by email, letter and phone. My neighbour below me alerted me to the fact that she thought someone was urgently trying to get in touch with me last Wednesday because "your landline has been ringing non-stop all day". When I got into the flat I saw 28 missed calls on my landline phone, all from Npower. I then blocked the number.

    Yesterday, I received a letter from Telemessage threatening DCAs and County Court action, reference number is my old Npower account number. Also, today I turned on my old mobile phone (which I'm waiting for the contract to expire next month) and noticed 7 voicemails from last week. All from Robinson Way. I'm not in debt troubles with anything else, so unless they have a wrong number I can only assume Npower have set them on to me? Yes, Npower do have my old mobile number but not my new number. They got my landline number from when I called them because I stupidly forgot to use 141 before dialling them.

    I'm not sure how to proceed from here. So any advice would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance for your time.

    Npower's complaint process is here:

    http://www.npower.com/home/help-and-support/contact-us/complaints/complaints-handling-policy/

    Sent them an email, headed Complaint, to the address given in the above link.

    State that you wish to complain that they are pursuing you for a supposed historic debt without having given you any itemised bill showing how the debt has supposedly arisen.

    State that you will answer any questions they have once they have given you a detailed bill but that you will only correspond by email or letter.

    State that you are disputing the bill and demand they stop all recovery activities until they have fully investigated the dispute. Explain the reason you are disputing the bill is that you fully settled the account over 2 years ago and have not been given any written explanation for why they are now seeking further payment.

    State that will be seeking redress for any inconvenience that arises from npower's failure to deal with this dispute in an efficient and appropriate manner.

    If after 8 weeks the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction go to the Ombudsman. If the npower rep offers to help then still keep your official complaint running in parallel so that you can still take your case to the Ombudsman if necessary.

    Unfortunately npower's service is appalling to don't expect this to be resolved quickly. Do NOT ignore any letters or emails but reply to them in writing e.g. by email or letter. (If using a letter then either get a proof of posting or also send a copy by email.)

    Refuse to discuss the matter on the phone as you will probably not then be able to produce evidence of what was said.

    If you need to take the matter to the Ombudsman then explain you believe the original final bill was correct, the amount npower is claiming you used would require unusually high usage, npower have not provided evidence to show your meter readings were inaccurate, and npower have left the matter in your view far too late to be disputing the bill now. Furthermore even if they are correct, which you strongly dispute, you believe the billing is now over a year late through npower's failures and as a result is not recoverable from you under the back billing principle.
  • Many thanks for the advice naedanger. I have emailed the complaints team based on the advice you gave me.

    I will keep you all posted.

    Thanks
  • I understand your Npower woes.

    We closed our account in September last year, then were surprised with a bill just a month ago. It turned out our account wasn't closed properly by the team.

    My partner spent hours on the phone with them, being put through to about 9 different team members and was told he would be called by somebody on Monday, with no resolution

    At the same time, I tweeted to the Npower team, and a few hours later they got back to me, closed the account and added some credit as an apology. So I would really recommend tweeting Npower as well, because they were so much quicker with resolving the issue than the 9 other people we spoke to.

    Good luck!
  • I understand your Npower woes.

    We closed our account in September last year, then were surprised with a bill just a month ago. It turned out our account wasn't closed properly by the team.

    My partner spent hours on the phone with them, being put through to about 9 different team members and was told he would be called by somebody on Monday, with no resolution

    At the same time, I tweeted to the Npower team, and a few hours later they got back to me, closed the account and added some credit as an apology. So I would really recommend tweeting Npower as well, because they were so much quicker with resolving the issue than the 9 other people we spoke to.

    Good luck!

    Thanks for the post. Well I'm hoping this will get sorted soon, particularly the potential threat to my credit rating.

    To be honest, I have a suspicion they're coming after me based on the previous occupier who lived there. He had took out every credit card under the sun and then legged it, I suspect he didn't pay his electric bill either and Npower are trying to recover something from anyone who will pay. Anyway, that's just idle speculation from me LOL.

    Hopefully so progress will be made soon.
  • nPowernPower Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Hi all,

    Just after a bit of advice and apologies in advance for another Npower thread. This is not about switching, it's about myself closing an Npower account and paying a final bill all of which took place nearly 2 years ago.

    I moved to Milton Keynes into a one bedroom flat on Economy 7 electricity back in mid December 2012. Npower contacted me pretty quickly and asked for meter readings and personal details. All done and dusted within good time and the form sent back to them. I got my first bill from them during Feb 2013. Which I paid and I believe the billing was then quarterly.

    I left the property in May 2013 and moved down south. On the day I handed the keys back to the agent, I called Npower and gave them my final meter readings. They asked for my new address for the final bill and (some would say stupidly) I gave them my new address. During July 2013 I got my final bill which was approx. £350. I paid up and that was that...or so I thought.

    Fast forward to mid-March 2015 and I got an email from Npower telling me my new bill was ready? I put this down to a phishing tactic so junked the email. Then on 11th Arpil 2015 I received a reminder letter from Npower demanding £422.09 for electricity supplied to my old address in Milton Keynes? The letter was actually dated 1st April, not sure if that was meant to be a joke?

    I called Npower on 11th April 2015 and was on the phone to them for just over an hour which was a mixture of being put on hold quite a few times. The chap on the phone told me I needed to 'pay now' and didn't seem too concerned that I had left this property nearly 2 years previous. His tune changed when I mentioned that it was my understanding that utility firms were not supposed to apply retrospective billing to folk after a 12 month period. He then spoke to the 'billings team'. Here's what he came back with:

    - The meter readings for the property had been transposed incorrectly either by the person I had given the final meter readings to or an Npower meter reader. He said there was no suggestion I had provided incorrect meter readings.

    - The final bill should have been closer to £1400 not the lower figure I had paid. But out of 'good will' they had written off £700 which left just £422 outstanding + what I had originally paid. I asked him how on earth I could have ran up such a bill in an Economy 7 property and when I was only there for 5 months at the most? He had no answer. I also told him that my own B.Gas dual fuel plan works out to around 800 quid a year.

    - My final bill payment had in fact been rejected on the day I paid up back in July 2013? Apparently that was the day this big investigation started. So the money I paid was in fact sitting in my Npower account as a credit? But at the time, no-one told me that???

    - Apparently this was all the fruits of an 18 month investigation and "you need to pay now" to which I replied with "I'm not paying" and then asked "who the hell do you people think you are just demanding money from me and without an explanation as to why it's taken 18 months to do so?"...no answer to that one.

    After some soapbox moments from me, he then scuttled back to the 'Billing Team'. He advised me that they would be launching another investigation and would let me know the results within a few months. He then told me to ignore any more reminder letters over the next few weeks and that my account has been marked as suspended meaning I would get no more demands by post, email or phone. Since then I've had nothing but demands from Npower by email, letter and phone. My neighbour below me alerted me to the fact that she thought someone was urgently trying to get in touch with me last Wednesday because "your landline has been ringing non-stop all day". When I got into the flat I saw 28 missed calls on my landline phone, all from Npower. I then blocked the number.

    Yesterday, I received a letter from Telemessage threatening DCAs and County Court action, reference number is my old Npower account number. Also, today I turned on my old mobile phone (which I'm waiting for the contract to expire next month) and noticed 7 voicemails from last week. All from Robinson Way. I'm not in debt troubles with anything else, so unless they have a wrong number I can only assume Npower have set them on to me? Yes, Npower do have my old mobile number but not my new number. They got my landline number from when I called them because I stupidly forgot to use 141 before dialling them.

    I'm not sure how to proceed from here. So any advice would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance for your time.

    Hi UrbanDanceSquad

    Thanks for your post.

    I'm sad to hear that we've sent you a bill so long after you moved out of the property. Under the UK Code of Practice we shouldn't charge you for any additional energy used more than 12 months ago that we haven't already billed you for, minus any payments made. We've also updated our own policy to reduce this to 6 months when a customer has left npower's supply.

    If you can get in touch with us using the details on our profile page or via Twitter, including your details and supply address, I'm happy to take a look into this for you and see what's happened.

    Kind regards

    Jess :)
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  • Hi UrbanDanceSquad

    Thanks for your post.

    I'm sad to hear that we've sent you a bill so long after you moved out of the property. Under the UK Code of Practice we shouldn't charge you for any additional energy used more than 12 months ago that we haven't already billed you for, minus any payments made. We've also updated our own policy to reduce this to 6 months when a customer has left npower's supply.

    If you can get in touch with us using the details on our profile page or via Twitter, including your details and supply address, I'm happy to take a look into this for you and see what's happened.

    Kind regards

    Jess :)

    Many thanks Jess, and the bit in bold is good to know. I have yet to receive a reply to the the complaint email I sent to the Npower complaints address. Also, a 'Final Demand' arrived yesterday from Npower laced with all sorts of threats.

    I'll drop you the details shortly and hopefully you can get the ball rolling too.

    Cheers

    UDS
  • zaaxzaax Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    This type of bill could worry an old person death, it should not have been sent out in the first place
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
  • ShAnEShAnE Forumite
    275 Posts
    100 Posts
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    Currently sat at my computer losing sleep as I am in a similar situation with Npower but didn't want to start a new thread.

    I signed up to Npower gas and electric back in November 2013 but apparently they only setup my gas account and as such have only just found out they want nearly £600 for the electricity they neglected to set a direct debit up for. Apparently it was left on some occupier account instead and it's taken them until now to do anything about it.

    Please let me know how you get on, I am in the process of buying my first house so could really do without the added stresses of dealing with a large bill and the hit on my credit rating. God knows what would have happened if they had waited another couple of months and I had moved on.
    Current Debt: 0%.
    Current House Deposit: 7%.
  • edited 15 July 2015 at 7:56PM
    UrbanDanceSquadUrbanDanceSquad Forumite
    49 Posts
    edited 15 July 2015 at 7:56PM
    Well, it took nearly 4 weeks for them to reply to the complaint which I emailed to them. Their reply can be summed up as "you owe XYZ amount because your readings were wrong, we've written off XYZ amount because we're such nice people. However, you still owe us 400 quid and you can either pay now or arrange instalments. If you don't pay up then we'll hand this over to a debt collector and/or may take you to court. Oh and apologies for the delay with our reply, we've opened another complaint on your behalf about how long it took us to reply." Once again, the amounts they quoted suggested I had run up a bill of something like £1400 on E7 electric in a crumby one bedroom flat and within a 5 month period?

    So I replied back to them to let them know how I felt about the demand and the reply to my complaint. I was pretty much straight to the point and I also told them that I would welcome a date in court, if it came to that, in that I couldn't see a judge slap a CCJ on me for this nonsense. I mentioned the 6 month back billing policy as posted on this thread by the Npower rep and that I would also be seeking costs for my time and expenses with regards to dealing with the matter, especially if it went to the county court. And again, I asked the question of how could I possibly run up such a large bill in such a short space of time?

    I also decided to go to the ombudsmen because I had initially raised the issue with Npower back in April, so way past the 8 week period. However, they replied back that I needed to wait 8 weeks? To which I replied back with "please read my original email". That was last week.

    Whilst this was all going on, I was receiving letters from Moorcroft and telemessage letters too.

    Two days ago, I received an email from Npower thanking me for my reply and apologising for their "system" not giving me a correct final bill, so they still wouldn't admit they got the numbers wrong. Anyway, they have now written off the balance and I owe them nothing. Later that day, the ombudsmen called to advise they'd looked at my case again and were prepared to look into it further...LOL. So I told them that Npower had finally pulled their fingers out so no need for their help, but I thanked them for the offer and apologised for wasting their time.

    I'll give it a month and then pull down my credit file to see if Npower have damaged it.

    A big thanks to all those who replied and helped me on this thread.
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